Minnesota was once again without star man Darwin Quintero. Filling in his spot alongside Angelo Rodriguez was rookie Mason Toye. Returning to the lineup after serving their suspensions was Collen Warner and Francisco Calvo. Joining Warner in midfield were the ever-present Rasmus Schuller and Ibson. Alongside Calvo in defense was Brent Kallman and Michael Boxall. Eric Miller and Miguel Ibarra were stationed in the lineup as wingbacks. Taking his spot in between the sticks for Minnesota was Bobby Shuttleworth.
— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) August 25, 2018
The match started as much had expected, with the Loons on the back foot and Kansas City prodding and probing the defense without respite.
Going forward, Minnesota looked to lump the ball up to the speedy Toye. Inthe 14th minute this worked as a long through ball by Ibson found a streaking Toye. The rookie did well to skip past Ike Opara but saw his resulting shot denied by Seth Sinovic.
When the Loons would connect on the long balls forward to Toye and Rodriguez, the vast majority of the time the two forwards would be isolated with minimal help coming from the midfield.
For the first half hour, the best chances Kansas City had to score were shots from distance. Sinovic and Graham Zusi both tried their luck from deep but saw their efforts go wide.
In the 30th minute, Johnny Russel tried to get around Miller towards the byline. Miller slid in and put the ball out for a corner kick. He immediately pointed towards his hamstring and had trouble getting up. Jerome Thiesson would be subbed on for Miller. It was the Swiss fullback’s first appearance since May 20th.
At the stroke of halftime, Thiesson earned a corner kick for the Loons. Ibarra looped a high cross into the box. Boxall headed the ball to a wide open Toye. Somehow the ball did not go in the net as Melia got a hand to it.
It wasn’t pretty for the Loons for much of the first half. However, the Loons grew into the game and they saw the best chance of the half fall to them. Going into the locker room momentum was with Minnesota.
At halftime, Peter Vermes subbed on Yohan Croizet for Felippe Guittierrez. The sub immediately made an impact as in the 47th minute Johnny Russel found Croizet streaking through the box. Croizet got space away from Boxall with his first touch and finished at Shuttleworth’s near post. Bye, bye momentum.
Francisco Calvo earned the first yellow card of the match shortly after by clipping Russell’s heels. Through yellow card accumulation, the captain will miss the away match against DC United. Boxall would receive a yellow card two minutes later in the 52nd minute after getting tangled up with Diego Rubio on a corner kick. The New Zealand defender will also miss the DC match through yellow card accumulation.
Mason Toye had a chance to equalize the match. Rodriguez found himself with space to run and saw Ibson and Toye running into the box. Rodriguez’s cross found Toye at the far post but his effort went over the bar.
In the 62nd minute Kansas City doubled its lead. Russell found Rubio in space at the top of the box. Rubio moved deftly around Thiesson and rolled the ball past Shuttleworth. Thiesson was agonizingly close to deflecting Rubio’s shot.
Minutes later Rodriguez had Minnesota’s best chance of the half. Ibarra put in a great cross to find the Colombian. Unfortunately, the resulting header was popped up and easy for Melia to catch.
In the 72nd minute, Ibarra once again found an attacker in the box with a cross. This time it was Abu Danladi who had been subbed on for Toye. The Ghanaian sent his header over the bar. Danladi would see his next effort on goal saved by Melia. Romario Ibarra would come on for Miguel Ibarra before the resulting corner kick.
Minnesota looked lively again at the end of the half. With the additions of Romario and Danladi there seemed to be more of a spark going forward. Rodriguez and Romario saw their long-distance efforts scrambled away by Melia. Later, Ibson rattled the crossbar and the rebound was sent into the stands by Romario.
The last ten minutes of the match were drab, with nothing of note happening. After three minutes of stoppage time, it was all over. SKC had earned their third straight shutout at home and their 11th of the season.
Minnesota definitely had its chances to score during the match but through the brilliance of Tim Melia and some mis-hits, it was unable to break through. Defensively the first half was well done, but a moment of hesitation or lapse in concentration is all this well drilled Kansas City team needs to capitalize.
47′ – SKC GOAL – Yohan Croizet (Assisted by Johnny Russel)
50′ – MNUFC YC – Francisco Calvo (Unsporting Behavior)
52′ – MNUFC YC – Michael Boxall (Unsporting Behavior)
62′ SCK GOAL – Diego Rubio (Assisted by Johnny Russel)
No surprise, our three stars tonight all play for the Sporks.
— FiftyFiveOne (@FiftyFiveOne) August 26, 2018
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